Reviewing your personal finance checklist at 50

Congratulations, you’ve reached and surpassed the half century mark! Today, let’s take a look at your personal finance checklist at 50 and some tips for future financial success.

  • Stop being a borrower and focus on becoming a saver!
  • Thinking of retiring some day? You might want to start by contacting the Social Security Administration to see where you stand in terms of your anticipated retirement benefits.
  • Contribute to your retirement accounts, such as your 401(k) and/or IRA, as much as possible.
  • Begin meeting with a trusted financial advisor on a regular basis to make sure your money is in the right place and performing to your expectations.
  • Review your will and make any necessary changes while you are still in good health.
  • Take advantage of senior discounts. You’ve earned them, so don’t be embarrassed to accept them.
  • Consider downsizing. Ask yourself if you still need that large house with the big mortgage payments.
  • Get healthy. Focus on eating right and increasing your exercise routine. With healthcare costs continuing to skyrocket, getting sick can be very expensive.

If you focus on your personal finance checklist at 50, during your peak earning years, you’ll have much less to worry about as you approach and pass those next age-related milestones. For more information on how your real estate holdings can impact your financial standing, please contact The Olear Team today!

Estate planning in the digital age

As if the job of executor wasn’t difficult enough, along comes the digital age to complicate things even further. Yes, estate planning in the digital age brings with it a variety of new concerns and responsibilities. For example, will your social media platforms continue to live on long after you’re gone?

It’s definitely something to think about and, if possible, discuss with your appointed executor. If an executor has not been appointed, you can discuss this with a family member with whom you have a great deal of trust.

In today’s digital age, anyone with a computer or smartphone likely has numerous usernames and passwords to access everything from your bank accounts to your Facebook page. While you don’t want to share this confidential information with just anyone, it does make a great deal of sense to share it with at least one trustworthy loved one.

In the event that your life ends unexpectedly, you’ll make things a lot easier for those left behind if someone has password access to your computer, smartphone, social media platforms, etc.

If you would like more information on estate planning in the digital age, please contact The Olear Team today!

Etiquette every home seller should know

How’s your etiquette? Sorry, we’re not talking about drinking a cup of tea with your pinkie finger extended. Today we’re going to talk about etiquette that every home seller should know.

Following are some helpful hints courtesy of our friends at realtor.com:

  • Leave … and take your pets with you. You hired a Realtor to represent you in this transaction, so leave the property and let the professionals handle the visitors who come to your open house. And for as much as you may love your furry or feathered friend, there are some people out there who just don’t like to be around animals. And as long as you’re leaving, move your car to make any guest visits more convenient.
  • Visitors to open house events like to ask a lot of questions about utilities bills, inspection reports, home warranties, etc. Therefore, locate any important paperwork prior to the open house and leave it with your Realtor.
  • Help your guests feel at home by leaving out some chilled bottles of water. Small treats like freshly baked cookies or mints are also a big hit.
  • Feel free to ask your Realtor for feedback, but be patient. Oftentimes the people who view your house need time to process what they’ve seen and decide whether or not to make an offer.
  • Be willing to negotiate. We all want top dollar, but unless you receive multiple offers you might have to be open to negotiation. Your Realtor can provide you with strategy and advice.

So now that you know some etiquette every home seller should know, you can put your property on the market with confidence. For more information or assistance, please contact The Olear Team today!

Keep safe from real estate fraud

Chances are, your real estate transaction — while often time-consuming and complicated — will be completed without incident. But like any other industry, there are instances of real estate fraud.

Following are some tips on how to avoid circumstances that may not be in your best interest.

  • The most common cases of mortgage fraud are committed by either someone in the industry or by the borrower. If you’re searching for a mortgage company to deal with, the first step is to ask a reputable Realtor for a referral. Even if you’re comfortable with the situation, you will still need to read your mortgage document from beginning to end, and you’ll want your real estate attorney to review it as well. Finally, be completely honest when filling out your loan application. Providing false information can only lead to trouble.
  • Wire fraud can occur when large sums of money are being transferred. Again, you’ll want to work with people and companies with stellar reputations. Always conduct your business from a secured system and if you have any doubt that the person on the other end of the line is who he or she says they are, then wait until you can confirm their identity without question before conducting any financial transactions.
  • Identity theft is quickly becoming the most frequent form of fraud. To lessen your chances of having your identity stolen, be extra cautious about what you post on social media, use a credit card rather than a debit card, and try not to write a lot of checks as checks contain a lot of personal information.

For more information on real estate fraud and tips to avoid becoming a victim, please contact The Olear Team today!